Last updated on March 21st, 2022

Point Defiance Park is Tacoma’s showpiece park with enough options to occupy kids everyday of the week. There are several covered shelters and heavy tree cover to get some shade or cover in the rain or hot sun.

  • Climb and slide at the playground.
  • Play in the sand at Owen Beach.
  • Hike along the Inside Loop Trail or fish at the marina/pier.
  • Play on the new slides at Stairs and Slides (keep a towel in your car for those rainy days).
  • Stroll through the Rose Garden.
  • Visit the Japanese Garden and Pagoda.
  • Enjoy waterfront views or ride your bike at the new Dune Peninsula park.
  • And more on their website.

If you have more time, visit the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium or experience the Five Mile Drive on the bluff-top for views and storm-watching points across Dalco Passage and the Tacoma Narrows. Check restrictions on Five Mile Drive on the website.

Note to self

  • A lot going on at this park, this is a very large park, plan accordingly!
  • Pet friendly park with a drinking fountain for dogs.
  • Note from a review, please do not feed the raccoons. They can bite and scratch.
  • Stroller friendly
  • Visit the free Japanese Garden and Pagoda, Rose Garden and Duck Pond near by.
  • The duck pond and rose garden are near the entrance to Point Defiance, with picnic tables, a footbridge and waterfall.  There are signs saying do not feed the ducks.  
  • The Five-mile Drive has an outer loop for pedestrians and an inner loop for cars at its south end. Lots of street parking on this loop.
  • Point Defiance Park is connected to Point Ruston by a footbridge. Cross the footbridge and enjoy other family friendly activities on the waterfront (~1 mile from the Rose Garden)
  • Or for a closer walk, at the end of the pedestrian bridge, ride down the slides at Stairs and Slides which is about a 10 min walk from the Duck Pond/Rose Garden (0.25 miles).

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  • Saturday07:00 AM - 09:30 PM
  • Sunday07:00 AM - 09:30 PM
  • Monday07:00 AM - 09:30 PM
  • Tuesday07:00 AM - 09:30 PM
  • Wednesday07:00 AM - 09:30 PM
  • Thursday07:00 AM - 09:30 PM
  • Friday07:00 AM - 09:30 PM
  • $$$$
  • Price Range Free